I know everyone hates these, but sod it. It’s my blog. I’ve not updated for ages, and I’m hoping this will get me into the swing of things again.
I’ve recently bought the following CD.
OK, it doesn’t look like much. In fact, it looks like one of those cheap CD’s you’d pick up on the open market for Â£2, with entirely re-recorded versions of your favourite sports TV themes.
Not even close. It cost me Â£6.99, and it’s almost jam-packed with the greatest works of sports theme ever. I say almost. I may have a rant about the Match Of The Day Theme. Let’s play it through.
(01) Grandstand (Current Theme) – Sound Stage Orchestra
There simply couldn’t be a sports theme CD without this classic,
soon to be removed from our TV screens. I love it. From its over-emphasised brass section, to the over-the-top trumpet leading to the seldom heard middle eight. Andy M informed me that the day Grandstand’s demise was announced, Radio 1 played the full version of this. And good on them!
(02) News Scoop (Grandstand Original Theme) – Symphonia Orchestra Conducted By Ludo Philipp
Used by the beeb whenever they introduce vintage clips. And also the theme to Auntie’s Sporting Bloomers. Oh, a pole vaulter’s pole snapped! And someone’s landed head first in the water jump! Actually, that’s quite funny.
(03) The Trap (London Marathon) – Ron Goodwin And His Concert Orchestra
Also the intro to the oliver Reed film “the Trap” as documented in… um, the name of the track. the longest track on the CD, at a whopping 3m 9s. Countless views of Tower Bridge, Cutty Sark and athletes pissing in the street. An absolute classic. The original version had lyrics (I actually saw the film one dreary afternoon)… something like “and she shall have diamonds and pearls”, sung by Reedy himself. It’s a top tune, and still used by the beeb to this day.
(04) Pop Looks Bach (Ski Sunday) – New Dance Orchestra
What can I say? This is Ski Sunday. Literally. Violins, kettle drums, sitting on a sunday afternoon eating biscuits, and maybe some leftover joint. (meat-type, natch). Again, only watched by children to see massive injuries. I’ve ran out of things to say, and there’s still 20 seconds of the track left, ah here’s the big finish!
(05) Soul Limbo (Test Cricket) – Booker T & The MGs
Yes, it’s the unmistakable cricket theme, with more cowbells and xylophones than you can shake a wicket at. A record in its own right, naturally. An intro which always reminded me of my mother emptying the tin ashtray we had at the time. And still have, despite nobody smoking in our house for over 9 years.
(06) Drag Racer (Snooker) – Doug Wood Group
The snooker theme. There is no other. Sod Pot Black. What surprisies me was that this track was recorded in 1976, but the version I have on 7″ is copyright 1982, despite it being the same version. The beeb thought it would be funny to stick crap snooker sound effects on the start and the end, which is probably the reason of the revised copyright date. It’s still a top track. And the remixes of it currently broadcast are sacrelege. Can’t spell that word.
(07) Offside (Match Of The Day Theme) – Mike Vickers Orchestra
THIS MAKES MY EARS BLEED. THIS IS NOT THE MATCH OF THE DAY THEME. THIS IS THE WEEDY ATTEMPT FEATURED ON EVERYTHING SEEING AS BBC WON’T RELEASE THE BARRY THING VERSION. THIS IS MAKING MY EARS BLEED. MAKE IT STOP. Bit of an insight, as there’s still a minute to go. Barry Fenton recorded the original track in 1969, still used to this day. This 1970 mockup is an awful representation of it. You’ll have heard it before. This is by far the low point of the CD. It’s finished!
(08) Drum Majorette (Match Of The Day Original Theme) – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon
Er. I’m not familiar with this one at all. Oh, actually, about 30 seconds into it, a little bit of it is recognisable. Hmmm. 22 more tracks to go. Not familiar with this one at all. Did I put the milk back in the fridge?….. Meh.
(09) Sportsnight (Theme) – Tony Hatch Orchestra
Ahhh. Tony Hatch. I have vague recollections of this theme. My parents weren’t sporty, and this show was always on past my bedtime. Therefore, I know of it expecially, the DA DA DA DA-DA DA! at the end. Wow, it has a really shit sax solo. My god, it’s awful. Never heard this before. Ah, back onto the main theme. Still over a minute to go, and as seems to be the par for the course on these themes…. start bit, cheesy middle secton, start bit again, proper ending.
(10) All Sports March – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon
I can place it. But it’s crap. So. A little about my day, then. I had a bit of a headache this morning when I woke up. But that soon cleared when I got to work, of all places. they’re still replacing the streetlights on Easington Road…… Um…. this theme is really crap. Only 30 seconds to go. I might have to stop and get more beer in a second.
(11) Light And Tuneful (Wimbledon Opening Music) – Sound Stage Orchestra
Bit of a strange name for something that really isn’t that light, to be honest. I love this theme. Usual structure. Main theme, then the cheesy middle eight which gets talked over by Sue Barker, then the end of the theme, which is the same as the start, only in a different key, which I don’t think gets used any more.
(12) Sporting Occasion (Wimbledon Closing Music) – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon
I don’t think this gets used as the closing any more. It got used as the opening a few years ago, to the dislike of most of the public. It’s a boring, tra-la-la thing, with a bit of fanfare in it. Bleh. Not my cup of tea.
(13) Holy Mackerel! (Rugby Special) – Brian Bennett Band
Brian Bennet, ex member of the Shadows, brings us this ditty I always remember from my childhood. Wah-wah synth. and lots of it. you can almost sing the lyrics “This is rugby league!” over it. That’s my strongest recollection of it. Not used any more. At all. Ever. Completely forgotten.
(14) Cranes (Darts) – Doug Wood Group
The entire reason I bought this CD. I knew the name, and the artist of the track. Many google searches drew a blank. Though, a few nights ago, it struck me I might have been searching for the wrong thing. I’d known the artist as “Doug Wood BAND”. The other night, I searched for “Doug Wood GROUP”. Within an instant, I was redirected to HMV, where they had snippets of all of the themes on here. My word! they were all the original versions, and this track was included A google search later, meant I got it from amazon for almost Â£4 cheaper. Woo. Um, back to the track. Clear recollections of saturday afternoons, with a rotating dartboard, and that scary last note. Almost 2 minutes of sheer brilliance. They really knew how to do snare drums in the 70’s.
(15) Derby Day – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen
Not familiar with this one at all. I’m sure they probably still use it on Derby Day. But not in my presence. We’re only half way through. I expect a lot of rubbish tracks, and some quality ones. Can’t quite remember the track order.
(16) The Challenge (BBC Sports Personality Of The Year) – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen
Oh dear, we’re onto the rubbish. This one has deteriorated badly. Recorded presumably in Mono. I know it to a point, and I think they still use it. It’s not that good.
(17) World Series – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen
Er. I have no idea what they used this one for. Thankfully the last one in the trio of Ole Jensen tracks I’ve not actually heard before.
(18) Saturday Sports (Sportsview) – National Light Orchestra
But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the crap tracks. No recollection of this AT ALL. Literally. I know it about as well as I know the back of my neck. Well, I know there’s a wart on there, but that’s not the point.
(19) Soul Riff (Crown Green Bowls) – Doug Wood Group
To be honest, this is the only Doug Wood Group track I’m not familiar with. I quite like it though. I don’t think the beeb use it any more.
(20) International Sports March – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Sidney Torch
YOU JOIN ME! IN THE MIDDLE OF A TRACK I’VE NEVER HEARD BEFORE! The 2nd longest track on the CD, at 3mins 8secs. Great. Time to get more beers……
(21) World Of Sport March (World Of Sport) – Don Harper Big Band
The only track to stray away from the comfort of the BBC. This is the famous ITV World of Sport theme. It’s beautiful. Stupidly loud piccolos, mute trumpets, more bass than a freshwater lake, and clocking in at a paltry 1min 45secs. It’s just *too* short. I could have listened to it for hours!
(22) World Series (Athletics) – Sound Stage Orchestra
What I love about this CD is the names that were originally given to the tracks, in this case “World Series”. Never-before-heard honkytonk piano solo. I absolutely love this. And, they don’t use it anymore. A few years ago, for whatever reason, they replaced this theme with a synthed-up soundalike. It was exactly the same, except for whatever reason, they re-recorded it. I can only assume that someone at the beeb lost their master before they went ahead and showed the highlights of the long jump from Oslo. Brilliant track.
(23) Grandstand – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon
Another Grandstand theme. The 70’s have something to be thankful for. They got rid of this from our screens. Can you imagine Des Lynam introducing Crown Green Bowls from Wembley over this?
(24) Out Of The Blue (Sports Report (BBC Light Programme And Radio 5)) – Band Of The Irish Guards Conducted By Major C.H. Jaeger
I can only assume, a very famous piece of music. It sounds very recently recorded. Probably from around the time Radio 5 started, which if I remember, was late 80’s? Bugger. I’ve put the CD box somewhere now… oh, there it is…. 1951 according to the booklet. No way.
(25) Goodwood Galop – Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra Conducted By Robert Farnon
Wy word. This is fast paced. I thought the CD was skipping. In fact no, it wasn’t skipping, it’s just a crap track. Copyright 1950, apparently. I don’t think they even DO racing from Goodwood anymore.
(26) Sportsmaster – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen
Er. Didn’t I hear this track earlier? Oh, wait. It’s almost the same as the other ones by the same “band”.
(27) Heavy Action (Superstars) – Sound Stage Orchestra
The SUPERSTARS THEME! I took a shine to this after the Beeb resurrected Superstars a year or two ago. Though, when I say resurrected, I’m sure I mean “A chance for some past it celebreties and some dodgy presenters to sun themselves up on a sunny island for however long it took them to record it. I mean, does Johnny Vaughan *need* another holiday? What’s wrong with the swimming baths at Rhyl? That’s where Ron Pickering was every week! Needless to say, Sportstarts has not returned to our screens during 2006. Whew. Only a few tracks to go.
(UPDATE: Superstars is back for Summer 2008, on Channel 5.
Although I only caught about 5 seconds of it, it doesn’t appear that they use this theme anymore. For shame My mistake! After actually watching an episode, they do still use this theme.).
(28) The Big Match – Sound Stage Orchestra
I’m divided about this one to be honest. It’s the famous track. Fast paced. Usual structure. Start. Mad oragan solo. End, same as the start, but with a bitey ending. But was it BBC or ITV?
(29) Tour De France – New Concert Orchestra Conducted By Nat Nyll
Nat Nyll. Now there’s a name that rolls off the tongue. No, I’m only joking. Never heard of him, or the theme.
(30) Football Fanfare – Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted By Ole Jensen
Oh, god. It’s back to Melodi Light, with another load of bollocks I’ve never heard before.
So, it’s clear, to me, which tracks are the stand-out ones, and which ones are a complete waste of disc. It is, of course, my personal opionion, and someone reading this could be jumping up and down at the prospect of hearing “Goodwood Gallop” again. And they can, if you buy the CD, which I assume is still in print.
Here’s the lowdown, should you wish to buy it…
UK Code: CD GOAL 1
Something Code: THE GREAT SPORTING EXPERIENCE 7243 5 56711 2 7
Running Time: 71:16
Time to type: Considerably Longer
I enjoyed that. Normal service WILL resume shortly.